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SAFRR project: Demolition of BB2

SAFRR Project: Scheduled for This Tuesday, March 14th at the Town of San Anselmo Council Meeting, this County of Marin has DELAYED their 3/14 presentation to the town, rescheduling for another day. While we’ve been fortunate to avoid a flooding disaster this year, this town will flood again, and the chokepoint is the “Building Bridge #2” aka Creek Park Plaza. This is loving known as: The SAFRR project. Here is another project overview from our vantage point which might give you newfound insights or understanding of the “Why.”

Here We Go: BB2 is a man-made concrete obstruction blocking 50% of the creek’s water flow. When “The Perfect Storm” hits with more than 5″ of rain in an hour and we have a King’s Tide and possible debris in the creek, we flood, and we flood hard. First, the water backs up at BB2, creating a maelstrom due to the constriction of the 22 foot wide by 10 foot high concrete water channel of BB2, compared double the size/flow of the 46 foot by 15 foot high Building Bridge home of Creekside and 10 other businesses that span the creek next to BB2 (upstream). The choke point creates a violent funnel, pushing water BACK UP HILL through the storm drains that normally flow into the creek at this location, adding even more water from Ross Ave and Tamapais Ave run-off. The ensuing backflow of hydrostatic pressure then forces water onto San Anselmo Avenue back-up the storm drains at the Coffee Roastery, in the middle of the Avenue and flood the street… then the Creekside gets it, the first building of many on the “even numbered” side of the Avenue, flooding from under the bridge, up through our floors, then Flour Craft, then up to The Baan Thai, then in extreme cases, water jumps the banks across from the Fire Station, and previous year, flows over “The Acorn” structure and then then Bridge Avenue bridge, then flooding at the Nokomis bridge. When this happens, it is a CATASTOPHIC event to our town, destroying all the businesses on The Avenue and surrounding residences. It has happened before and it will happen again as long as BB2 remains “as is.” BB2 is owned by the County of Marin, NOT the Town, so The Town has done whatever they can to “make it look better” temporarily. The County of Marin will NOT allow BB2 to be accesses ever again due to the noted structural failure of the center pony wall that holds up 2/3rds of the concrete pad, so, the romantic idea that the public will be able to utilize the “Plaza” again is out the door unless “good money is spend on bad investment” to temporarily patch and engineer the repair of the bridge wall…. prior to the County demolishing the whole thing anyway. That. in a nutshell, is the overview.

If and when SAFRR project goes forward, please remember that the Plaza was only a temporary nice-to-have. The new “Re-Imagine Creek Park” will be a great addition to the community for generations to come and generations to enjoy, making San Anselmo a world-class destination. The demo work will be…painful, beginning June 15 and running through October 15th weekdays from 7AM to 5PM. It is, a lot of work. Particular days will require large machines hammering away, shaking the very foundation of San Anselmo Avenue. The upside is… children who love heavy machines and Bob The Builder  will love this multi-month project. “Can we build it? Yes We Can!” …but it will be a bit of an endurance test to merchants, restaurants and residents. Have faith in the intention of the project. It will again be a new and improved community gathering spot. Some agree, some disagree with passion. At Creekside, we hear and understand and respect all opinions. The plaza was good for the community. It was a unique time with COVID et al. Some people call BS on the engineering report, however, that’s now part of public record, like it or not. Will it ever “fail?” Unlikely. Could it? Sure; in a 10.4 quake or the unlike detonation of a Bunker Buster.

SOME DAY SOON… The Town of San Anselmo will be presented with the COUNTY OF MARIN’s decision. The Town…really has no say in it. It’s like the Vogons building a hyperspace bypass in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. “It’s got to be built and it’s going to be built.” So, best to come to Creekside, have a couple of pints while the Vogon Constructor Fleet does their work. THAT BEING SAID, This Tuesday’s Town Council Meeting AGENDA ITEM #2 reads:

“Receive presentation by the Marin County Flood Control District of the status of the San Anselmo Flood Risk Reduction project. The SAFRR project Environmental lmpact Report (ElR) was certified in 2018 with the Marin County Flood Control District as the CEQA lead agency. Receiving this presentation related to SAFRR is not considered a “project” under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), because it does not involve an activity which has the potential to cause a direct or reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment. (Cal. Pub. Res. Code § 21065).”  The Agenda and Staff Reports are available to the public on the Town Website: CLICK HERE

Well friends. That’s today’s rant. See you for Happy Hour at Creekside Pizza & Flood Zone.

Cheers, PT